I never understood how difficult it could be to make a family meal that everyone would actually eat until I had kids. Luckily, this tomato basil baked pasta recipe is one that gets eaten without complaint!
Except this one time. The time I made the recipe the exact same way I’ve made it dozens of times and decided to add ham. Oh.boy. That was not a good idea –according to my middle son.
“But I’ve made it juuuuuusssstt like this all the other times!” I exclaimed. “Yes, but the other times you made it plain and today you added ham. I do not like ham in my dinner” he replied. Luckyyyyy meeee!
So what did I do? The same thing any other sane parent would do: pick out the ham pieces and say “see? no ham!” and move on. Clearly, we had a difference of opinion because now apparently the food tasted different than the other dozen times I’ve made this pasta.
Speaking of this recipe, it’s delicious. My daughter says it tastes just like pizza and she “almost doesn’t mind knowing there is green stuff (pesto) in there”. When I make a big pan for the family I make it with gluten free pasta so everyone can enjoy it and I don’t have to cook two different meals. Whether you need to make this recipe gluten free or not, it will be a winner for sure.
One of the thing I love about this recipe is that you get hat same au gratin feel like traditional baked pasta at a fraction of the time. Everything is assembled outside of the oven and essentially you are just melting the cheese under the broiler. Long gone are the days of dry and overcooked baked pasta dishes. This is a delicious and creamy dish that is sure to win over a crowd. The ham, of course, is optional.